La traviata Teaching Resources

Music Key Stage 3

Starter Activity

Play the clip. Ask pupils to take notes on the excerpt they hear in terms of the elements of music with a particular focus on describing the structure. Ask the students to share their thoughts in partners or groups. At this point you should explain that it is a cavatina in two parts (slow section, fast section) with an interruption in the middle.


Main Activity

Play the sequence again and this time, without explaining the narrative, ask them to write a short piece of creative writing that fits with the music and explains the changes in emotion. The students may choose which style of writing suits best including poetry, narrative or essay.


In mixed-ability groups, ask your pupils to choose one of their stories (or combine them if desired) and create their own simple composition using any available instruments, making sure to represent changes of emotion in the music. Allow time for the students to perform their compositions to the class and discuss constructively.



  • For homework ask pupils to research the plot of La traviata and discover the true meaning of the excerpt they listened to. Write a short account, using musical terms, of why the music is successful and how it compares to their own version of the story.

  • In a further lesson, continue to explore the cavatina. Pupils should research the terms recitative, aria and cabaletta and compare the structure and musical devices they identify.



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